Although nearly every other Harvard team has wrapped up its season, it is not yet over for the men and women of the Crimson sailing team, which qualified for ICSA National Semifinals by coming in ninth in the Coast Guard Alumni Bowl last month. This marks an improvement from last season, when the Crimson failed to qualify.
Throughout the year, the squad has competed in over 50 regattas along the north Atlantic coast, and twice Harvard has come in first place.
Both top finishes were in regattas hosted by the Crimson on its home waters of the Charles River.
Harvard did not earn a berth to nationals until the final weekend of the regular season.
“We started the year off strong with many top finishes, but ended up faltering a bit towards the end of the fall.” junior Michael Drumm said. “However, we regrouped during our winter break and came out strong [enough] to have good finishes and qualify for nationals.”
In addition to making the national championship, Harvard also had three sailors named for all-NEISA teams in the same regatta: senior Isabel Ruane, junior Brian Drumm, and sophomore Jake Bradt.
Sailing World has the Crimson currently ranked at No. 13 in the nation as it heads into the end of its season.
“These achievements were the product of a full year of hard work by over 30 people—freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors,” sophomore co-captain Andrew Mollerus said.
“Through [the team’s] tireless work and determination, we managed to create a culture of growth which will serve the team long into the future,” Mollerus said.
The end of the fall season was filled with mixed results for Harvard.
For two weekends in a row in six regattas, the Crimson couldn’t finish better than 11th place. One bright spot came in early November, when freshman Juan Carlos Perdomo came in second place for the singlehanded nationals.
The winter proved to be a brutal one in Cambridge, and the Charles River thawed two weeks later than it normally does.
Harvard thus struggled to get time on the water and was left to make up practicing with chalk talk.
This lack of practice on the river proved a challenge for the squad as it headed into the spring season, according to Michael Drumm.
“We specifically focused on our mental approach to sailing and working as a team,” Michael Drumm said. “[We found] great success.”